Hot Dust

June 30, 2004

One of the little things that has been bugging my about my computer has been that the thing overheats and hangs when playing some games or when doing some multi-media tasks.

This frustration came to a boil earlier today - I finally got fed up with Windows Media Player and started converting my music library to iTunes, only to have the computer shut down every five minutes. So, I dug into drivers, and I moved the hot computer next to the air conditioning vent, and I opened the case and checked that the fans were working, and I otherwise messed about.

While using a flashlight to check the motherboard's onboard flash ram to make sure I was about to flash the correct bios, I noticed that the top of the CPU heat sink looked wrong. Sure enough, I pulled the fan off and discovered that there was a thick layer of tightly packed fine dust blocking the top of the ventilating fins. One clean heat sink, one re-attached fan, and instead of a cpu that runs at 67c until I start playing with music, at which point it shoots up to 71 and shuts down, I now have a cpu that runs at 40 c, until I start playing with music in which case it hops up to 42 and remains stable.

Dust, just dust.

As always with me and computers, it took me an hour to diagnose the problem correctly, five minutes to fix it -- made worse because I slept poorly last night and was all kinds of cranky today.

And so to cook dinner (at least I revised a few pages a few hours ago.)

Posted by Red Ted at June 30, 2004 06:43 PM | TrackBack